The Camp Prospero Files: Tessa Stone


The following report and its contents are classified TOP SECRET under Federal Code 7906-A. The information contained within is the exclusive property of the United States Department of Defense, The Bureau of Magical Affairs, and its branch offices. Any unauthorized release will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Interviews conducted by professional staff for the purpose of determining the mental status and fitness of key training camp personnel.


Subject: Tessa Stone

Designation: Class 3

Rank: Trainee Scoutmaster


TESSA STONE: [salutes] Trainee Scoutmaster Tessa Stone reporting as ordered, sir.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you, Miss Stone. I hope we haven’t pulled you away from anything important.

TS: No, sir. Just refamiliarizing myself with the Scout Handbook and codes of conduct.

I: I see. Transition to your new role going well, I take it?

TS: Yes, sir. It’s a privilege to be serving the magical community and helping out people like me. I was in their position once, so it’s nice to be able to give back.

I: Of course. Are you planning on standing for the whole interview, Miss Stone?

TS: [pauses] Sir?

I: Have a seat.

TS: [shifts uncomfortably] I’d prefer to stand, sir.

I: Uh-huh. [makes a note] And why is that?

TS: I’ve always found it–productive to maintain a clear chain of command, sir. I don’t like to–I mean, it’s unprofessional to get too comfortable with superior officers.

I: Interesting. Let’s explore that. You must have some mixed feelings about returning to Camp Prospero–the same camp you graduated from–to work as a staff member. After all, you’re sure to encounter scouts you trained with frequently.

TS: I guess that’s true, sir. I mean, the part about seeing people I know. I requested Camp Prospero as my post personally.

I: Right. And feeling indebted to you for your, shall we say, services of late, the BMA obliged your request. I’m not sure they would have done the same for many other people. How does that make you feel?

TS: [blushes] Umm–grateful, sir?

I: Do you feel special?

TS: No, sir. I don’t want to be a charity case.

I: You’re hardly that, Miss Stone. I’ve read your file. High marks, stellar participation and patriotism, and dedication to preserving military discipline is written all over it. You were an exceptional scout.

TS: Thank you, sir. I tried my best.

I: I’m sure you did. Getting back to the point at hand, however–is there anyone at Camp Prospero you’re looking forward to seeing again? Anyone in particular?

TS: I don’t know what you mean, sir.

I: Really?

TS: [flustered] Well, I know a lot of people there. They were my friends. Still are. Sure, it’d be nice to see some of them.

I: Including Jack Ferguson?

TS: What? What does that have to do with anything? [crosses arms] Sir, what’s all this about?

I: I believe you were informed, Miss Stone. We’re conducting psychological evaluations of–

TS: Sir, what’s all this REALLY about? I know I don’t have clearance, and I know you don’t have to tell me anything. But with all due respect, please don’t insult my intelligence by lying to me.


I: Miss Stone, we’re attempting to determine if your history at Camp Prospero has in any way compromised your good judgment. And on an otherwise spotless record, the only thing that stands out is your–ahem–relationship with Jack Ferguson and his associates. You are aware that several of them, as well as Mr. Ferguson, have a history of disciplinary problems?

TS: [tenses] Yes, sir. I was there. There were a handful of times that things got–out of hand.

I: [snorts] Now you’re insulting my intelligence, Miss Stone. Mr. Ferguson’s reprimand sheet alone is longer than my arm.

TS: Is this interview going somewhere, sir? I’m a little busy.

I: Ah. So there is a real person inside that uniform.

TS: What’s that supposed to mean?

I: It means, Miss Stone, that you’re trying to feed me a line. You’ve been telling me what you think I want to hear.

TS: And what do you want to hear, sir? Please let me know so I can just tell you and get out of here.

I: You’re not comfortable with being analyzed, are you? With someone else knowing a lot about you?

TS: [pauses] Honestly, sir? No. I think private things should stay private.

I: And I’d be inclined to agree with you if the subject weren’t so important. Let’s consider the past two years at camp. A scout-lead rebellion that led to your scoutmaster being fired and administrative turmoil. And then there was the Barstowe incident–

TS: Incident? Is that what we’re calling it now? A lot of those people I know at Camp Prospero–the people we’ve been talking about–almost died because the BMA laid down on the job and let a psycho through background checks. She almost brought down the whole camp, and if she had, all of you would’ve been next!

I: It was unfortunate, it’s true. But that’s in the past. We’re talking about the present.

TS: Oh, no you don’t. I’m not letting it go. A lot of our scouts had to go to therapy over that summer. Some of them spent months in the hospital. They’re never going to be the same. We’re goddamn lucky nobody actually died. And the government hasn’t so much as apologized to them for it.

I: All records of the Barstowe matter are sealed, Miss Stone. Divulging that information carries high penalties. You would do well to control your emotions.

TS: Is that because you outrank me, sir, or just because I’m a woman speaking her mind? You think I’m scared of you because I wear your uniform and follow your rules?

I: I think that you are emotionally compromised, Miss Stone. You’re too close to this camp, and these people. Especially Jack Ferguson.

TS: [glares] All due respect, sir, but I don’t care what you think. I do what I know is right. That’s what my father taught me, and he gave up a hell of a lot more for his country than most of you people. Jack might not be perfect, but he’s a hero. He’s traumatized. And we all let him down. Every single one of us. That’s not something any psych test will wipe away.


I: I see. Are you worried about what you’ve said here today being used against you?

TS: I’m worried the country I wanted to serve isn’t the country I thought it was. If you demote me, reassign me, whatever, you’ll just be proving me right. [sighs, straightens uniform] Will that be all, sir?

I: Yes, Miss Stone. You’re dismissed.


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